Dad and I took a snubbie revolver class with Dennis Reichard at Sand Burr Gun Ranch in 2015. Dennis Reichard recently passed away, and Massad Ayoob wrote the article at the link below in Reichard’s memory. His brutal honesty might be seen by some people as being rough around the edges, but his honesty made him a very good instructor and wonderful person.
I’ll always remember the story he told about a woman who was killed in a domestic dispute. She was a waitress at a restaurant in or near Rochester, Indiana, where Reichard was a homicide detective. She was a small woman who was involved with a volatile man, and Reichard encouraged her on several occasions to learn how to use a firearm to defend herself. As Reichard was telling the story, he began to become visibly upset and somewhat tearful when he said that the next time he saw her, her head was practically severed from her neck. He said that, as a law enforcement officer, the only thing he could do was write a report. He said he just wished he could have done a little more to encourage her to seek training and learn to defend herself. He emphasized that a gun is a force equalizer, and he made a plea for all of us to encourage others, especially our loved ones, to do what they can to avoid becoming the victim of acts of violence by evil people.
I also remember that class because the last thing we did in the class was to shoot our snub nose revolvers out to 100 yards. The drill was meant to demonstrate that snub nose revolvers are very accurate in the hands of a competent shooter. Many people lament that small revolvers are not accurate, when, in reality, small revolvers are accurate. They are just difficult to shoot. I remember that I was using a 9mm Ruger LCR with a moon clip. I’m not a huge fan of the 9mm in a revolver because the recoil causes the bullet to separate from the case on some rounds. This is not as much of a problem with the .38 or .357 cartridge. Nonetheless, the Ruger LCR performed well. Dennis Reichard was a Smith & Wesson guy, and he said he’d never had someone hit the target at 100 yards with a Ruger. He’d been giving me grief all day about using a Ruger. So, when I was one of two people to hit the steel target at 100 yards, and on my first shot, I experienced some satisfaction after having been railed (mostly jokingly) all day about using a Ruger.
I will always remember that class, and Dennis Reichard will be greatly missed. My dad has a Smith & Wesson Model 340 that was tuned by Dennis Reichard, and it will likely remain in the family forever. Denny Reichard’s legacy will carry on through the people he has trained, through the stories of people positively affected by him, and through the firearms he has tuned to reach their potential. As Massad Ayoob says, “Denny was a super cop, a wizard with both tuning revolvers and shooting them, and a loving husband, dad, and grandfather… I like to think that somewhere, he’s having a smoke with Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton, and discussing their favorites Smith & Wessons.”